Dean Surgeon helps small Catholic hospital in Mexico change the lives of impoverished indigenous children- Dean - WI

Skip to Content



Learn...

about the Dean Medical Group difference.

Published on February 11, 2016

Dean surgeon helps small Catholic hospital in Mexico change the lives of impoverished, indigenous children

“It’s a mission that puts things in perspective.” That is how Dr. Ramzi Shehadi describes his recent trip to a small town in the south Mexican jungle.

Dr. Shehadi, a Plastic Surgeon at Dean Clinic, traveled to Altamirano in a remote part of the state of Chiapas near the border with Guatemala.  Dr. Gregory Stroncek, a Madison Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, accompanied him.

For one week, they helped more than a dozen poverty-stricken Mayan children with congenital deformities.  Dr. Shehadi says they operated on kids born with tumors, Cleft lips and Cleft palates.  The children are from families living in the jungle, away from mainstream civilization.  Because of a history of repression, their families do not trust the local government hospitals. 

But those families do trust the Hospital San Carlos, where Shehadi and Stroncek performed surgeries and lived for a week.  The facility is run by a group of nuns from the Order of St. Vincent de Paul. 

“Working with the nuns is a humbling experience and a life lesson,” says Dr. Shehadi.  “What we do for a week at a time they do for a lifetime – they live a life of unconditional giving and love.”

Shehadi took his first trip in 2013, but Stroncek has been has been going for much longer.  He helped start the mission 20 years ago.  This year, they both brought their teenage sons to show them the needs of people around the world.  It can help the teens “appreciate how lucky and fortunate  they are, living where they do, it also teaches them the value of service to people in need” notes Shehadi.

The feedback the two doctors receive is what keeps them going back. 

“The appreciation we get from the parents and families, the smiles and expression of gratitude reinforce why we went into the medical field in the first place.”

Dean Medical Group News

Recent videos and news articles about Dean Medical Group, as covered by the news media.

Coffee's effects on your healthWISC-TV, September 30, 2016

Dr. Zorba Paster: Don't underestimate the power of the humble beanWisconsin State Journal, September 30, 2016

Weekend Wellness: Pharmacists month1310 WIBA, September 30, 2016

New surgery at SSM Health helping people hearNBC15, September 28, 2016

Time for Kids: Keeping things organizedWISC-TV, September 27, 2016

Dr. Zorba Paster takes health questions from viewersWISC-TV, September 26, 2016

Dr. Zorba Paster: Speak up about depressionWisconsin State Journal, September 23, 2016

Time to prepare for cold and flu seasonWISC-TV, September 22, 2016

AAFP names 2016-2017 board of directorsYahoo! News, September 21, 2016

Dr. Zorba Paster takes health questions from viewersWISC-TV, September 19, 2016

Dr. Zorba Paster: Knee surgery not always bestWisconsin State Journal, September 16, 2016

Weekend Wellness: Prostate cancer1310 WIBA, September 16, 2016

Pneumonia can range in severity, WISC-TV, September 15, 2016

More Coverage 

of Dean in the News

Hear Health Tips from Our Providers

Visit our DocTalk Podcast page for information on various health topics.

Media Contacts

If you are part of the media, we encourage you to reach out to Dean Medical Group's media contacts.

Have a Flu-related Question?

Look in our Flu Updates section for the latest information from Dean Medical Group!